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2014 NFL Season Review: Best Defensive Performances

A look back at the 2014 season through the lens of the Winning Stats. Which games did the Colts excel in each statistic, and which games were the best in this NFL season?

Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Last week we took a look at the best Offensive performances by both the Colts and the rest of the NFL, and we saw the Colts had a couple standout games, and were on the receiving end of a couple of the best games the NFL saw all season. This week we'll look at the best Defensive performances, and as you can guess, almost all of them came in one game for the Colts.

Statistic Opponent Week Score Value
DSR Bengals 7 27-0 39.7%
ANPY/A Browns 14 25-24 1.967
Turnovers Ravens 5 20-13 3.17
Yds/Drive Bengals 7 27-0 10.96
ToP/Drive Bengals 7 27-0 1:31.9
Yds/Play Bengals 7 27-0 2.553
Orange Zone Eff Bengals 7 27-0 3.7%
First Downs/Drive Bengals 7 27-0 0.72
3rd/4th Down Bengals 7 27-0 9.3%
Avg Start Pos Ravens 5 20-13 18.1
3 and Outs Bengals 7 27-0 9.89
RZ Eff Bengals 7 27-0 -0.4%
Plays/Drive Bengals 7 27-0 4.121
Penalty Yds / Play Eagles 2 27-30 1.374
RB Success Bengals 7 27-0 18.8%
Yds/Carry Bengals 7 27-0 2.53
  • Yep, 12 of the 16 statistics were the Colts best of the season in Week 7 against the Bengals. It was one of those games you rarely see, especially from the Colts. It was the best Defensive game the Colts have had since I started tracking stats back in 2001, but was just the 16th best game of the NFL season. Still pretty spectacular.
  • The Drive Stats are the biggest win for the Colts, with stats that were near the top of the NFL this season. If you remember, the Bengals had 8 Three and Outs before they finally gained a first down. But these numbers are staggering: 11 Yards per Drive, less than one First Downs per Drive, and just four Plays per Drive.
  • Throw in not allowing any points from the Orange/Red Zone and stuffing the Bengals rushing attack, and it caps off an historic performance from the Colts Defense.
  • The best game against the pass was against the Browns, causing Brian Hoyer to lose his starting job to Johnny Manziel, giving up less than two Adjusted Net Passing Yards per Attempt. They also held Josh Gordon to just two catches and 14 yards, an impressive feat no matter the QB throwing to him.
  • The best game creating Turnovers? The Ravens in Week 5, forcing three of them against an above-average team. How things could have been very different to end the season if they'd just held on to either of their two TD leads in Foxboro...

Here's the overall NFL bests, and the Colts top our #1 stat:

Statistic Team Opponent Week Score Value
DSR Colts Bengals 7 27-0 39.7%
ANPY/A Bengals Browns 15 30-0 -1.216
Turnovers Bills Jets 8 43-23 6.03
Yds/Drive Panthers Cardinals 18 27-16 8.20
ToP/Drive Texans Ravens 16 25-13 1:26.7
Yds/Play Panthers Cardinals 18 27-16 2.089
Orange Zone Eff Rams Broncos 11 22-7 -11.2%
First Downs/Drive Panthers Cardinals 18 27-16 0.65
3rd/4th Down Patriots Bengals 5 43-17 2.1%
Avg Start Pos Chiefs Patriots 4 41-14 12.6
3 and Outs Colts Bengals 7 27-0 9.89
RZ Eff Rams Raiders 13 52-0 -13.7%
Plays/Drive Panthers Cardinals 18 27-16 3.515
Penalty Yds / Play Vikings Patriots 2 7-30 2.609
RB Success Cowboys Colts 16 42-7 2.6%
Yds/Carry Cowboys Colts 16 42-7 0.35
  • Two of the Colts stats against the Bengals, Drive Success Rate and Three and Outs, led the NFL this season, making it the first time that I can ever remember the Colts having the best game in the NFL defensively in a stat. League-average DSR is just under 70%, which puts into perspective just how good that performance was.
  • The Colts also show up twice on the flip side for their disastrous running game against the Cowboys. Clearly that wasn't the reason they lost that game, but it certainly was extremely bad.
  • That Playoff performance by the Panthers against the Cardinals was part great Defense, and part putrid QB play, but it shows up four times here, all in drive stats. Boy was that a rough game to watch.
  • Every time good ol' Johnny Football dropped back to pass against the Bengals in Week 15, he lost a little over a yard. That's not how to play the position.
  • I know the Broncos laid a giant egg when they went to St. Louis, but they only got past the Rams 35 one time and didn't score any points. Man that was bad.